History

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The Legend of the QWERTY Keyboard

In the 1860s, a politician, printer, newspaper man, and amateur inventor in Milwaukee by the name of Christopher Latham Sholes spent his free time developing various machines to make his businesses more efficient. One such invention was an early typewriter, which he developed with Samuel W. Soulé, James Densmore, and Carlos Glidden, and first patented in 1868. The earliest typewriter keyboard resembled a piano and was built with an alphabetical arrangement of 28 keys. The team surely assumed it would be the most efficient arrangement. After all, anyone who used the keyboard would know immediately where to find each letter; hunting would be reduced, pecking would be increased. Why change things? This is where the origin of QWERTY gets a little foggy.

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Tsar Bomba – Unclassified Footage

Rosatom has released previously classified footage of the largest bomb to ever be detonated, Tsar Bomba.

With a yield of 50 megatons (50 million tons), equal to around 3,800 Hiroshima bombs, the weapon was set off over Novaya Zemlya on October 30, 1961

https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/security/2020/08/rosatom-releases-previously-classified-documentary-video-50-mt-novaya-zemlya-test

Tip: YouTube’s auto-translated captions do a great job turning it into english.

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The second shuttle launch (STS-27) after the Challenger disaster almost ended in disaster.

One report describes the crew as “infuriated” that Mission Control seemed unconcerned. When Commander Gibson saw the damage he thought to himself, “We are going to die”, and did not believe that the shuttle would survive reentry; if instruments indicated that the shuttle was disintegrating, he planned to “tell mission control what I thought of their analysis” in the remaining seconds before his death.

The shuttle Atlantis actually sustained more damage than what would bring down Columbia in 2003. The Top Secret payload (a surveillance satellite for the US DOD) meant that communication with the ground was done using a slower method of encryption which could have resulted in lower quality images for analysis (eg. higher compression for faster transmission over a slow line).

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When slaves and free men were shipwrecked together

As they landed on the island on the night of the wreck, some of the crew supposed it inhabited. But the dark-skinned “locals” they encountered had come on the same ship, just a different part of it. Below deck 160 or so slaves had languished, men, women and children. Nearly half of them had died in the night, probably drowned under the nailed-down hatches. That still left 88, two-thirds of them men, now unshackled.

Image 2018-05-14 at 10.00.24 PM

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Books from 1923 to 1941 Now Liberated!

The Internet Archive is now leveraging a little known, and perhaps never used, provision of US copyright law, Section 108h, which allows libraries to scan and make available materials published 1923 to 1941 if they are not being actively sold. Elizabeth Townsend Gard, a copyright scholar at Tulane University calls this “Library Public Domain.” She and her students helped bring the first scanned books of this era available online in a collection named for the author of the bill making this necessary: The Sonny Bono Memorial Collection. Thousands more books will be added in the near future as we automate. We hope this will encourage libraries that have been reticent to scan beyond 1923 to start mass scanning their books and other works, at least up to 1942.

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A Plane Crash, A Glacier, And An Entrepreneur: How Icelandair Opened Up Air Travel For Everyone

But Eliasson refused to give up. He was a fiercely ambitious man on a mission that ended up changing the face of the airline industry. Through force of will, he and his cofounders invented the budget transatlantic flight and opened up Iceland to the rest of the world. His efforts laid the groundwork for Iceland to transform itself from one of Europe’s poorest nations to the most developed nation on earth by 2008.